Boynton Beach wants ideas from developers on its new downtown


Boynton Beach in the coming months will ask design teams to be part of a public-private partnership and submit ideas on how to redevelop the four-block Town Square area, 17 acres adjacent to Boynton Beach Boulevard east of Interstate 95, to be developed as the city’s downtown.

Those proposals must have the historic 1927 high school included in some way. Also, a new 50,000-square-foot City Hall and green space should be included, and the library and Schoolhouse Children’s Museum and Learning Center are to remain there, City Commissioners decided at a workshop Monday.

While the police department and Fire Station No. 1 are in the redevelopment area, the city is open to moving them.

To read more Boynton Beach stories, click here

Colin Groff, an assistant city manager, encouraged the commission to be as “flexible” as possible so more developers would be interested and would propose better ideas.

The city’s staff will create the request for proposals and submit it to the commission for approval around September. It could take six months before negotiations begin, and at least a year before shovels are in the ground, said Lori LaVerriere, the city manager.

Boynton’s costs for this redevelopment are not yet known. Neither is how that money will be raised. A new City Hall could cost about $15-$18 million. A new police building could be $25-$30 million. And a new fire station, $3-$5 million, city documents state.

Developing a police station and fire station together would save money, said Groff. Ocean Breeze East off Seacrest Boulevard in the Heart of Boynton could be a place for both. A police station could be built on city property on High Ridge Road. A fire station could be built at the AmeriGas property on Federal Highway the Community Redevelopment Agency recently bought.

Other requirements from the city include: a public event lawn, amphitheater, and public gathering space; an entrance and gateway feature at Ocean Avenue and Seacrest Boulevard; and street enhancements and on-street parking on those streets. The city’s only requirement for the high school is that it be used in some way. That could mean just the facade and footprint are kept, or the historical portions of the school are recreated.

Boynton already planned on developing the area through a public-private partnership, but hadn’t yet asked for proposals. The city has received two unsolicited proposals, one of which was rejected because it did not include the historic school.

Rick Gonzalez submitted a plan that would develop the high school into a cultural arts community center and would include a residential and commercial component. Gonzalez asked the city to come up with $1.5 million to be paid over three years, and about $300,000 each year with a 3 percent increase to lease space for community programs. If the city chose to lease it for 20 years, Boynton would pay about $11.7 million.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Max Born’s identity: Google honors Nobel Prize-winning physicist who escaped Nazis
Max Born’s identity: Google honors Nobel Prize-winning physicist who escaped Nazis

In honor of what would have been German physicist Max Born’s 135th birthday, the Google Doodle team put together a colorful illustration for the search engine’s home page. Born is remembered for his major contributions to quantum mechanics, a field of study that has led to the invention of computers, lasers, medical imaging...
‘One-of-a-kind’ FAU-Max Planck program creates undergrad opportunities
‘One-of-a-kind’ FAU-Max Planck program creates undergrad opportunities

At a university where undergraduates as young as 14 already are engaged in studies on cancer, opioid addiction and neurological disorders, Florida Atlantic University soon will expand its research capabilities through a one-of-a-kind partnership. The Boca Raton-based school on Monday announced the FAU-Max Planck Honors Program, an undergraduate opportunity...
Wendy’s out, this national chain in at Tequesta shopping center
Wendy’s out, this national chain in at Tequesta shopping center

Coffee  and such is expected to start being served by Christmas at the new Dunkin’ Donuts being built in Tequesta’s Countyline Plaza.  The building -- plans call for a drive-through window — is at the southwest corner of Countyline Road and U.S. 1. The new Dunkin’s is in the former Wendy’s restaurant, which closed...
Palm Beach Co. gasoline average dips 2 cents from a week ago
Palm Beach Co. gasoline average dips 2 cents from a week ago

Gasoline prices have fallen for the last five weeks, and this past week Palm Beach County’s average dipped another 2 cents per gallon. The downward trend is expected to continue this week. Monday, Palm Beach County’s average for a gallon of regular stood at $2.53. Florida’s average was $2.40, down 3 cents from a week ago, according...
Girl has blunt message for Aetna after brain surgery coverage denied
Girl has blunt message for Aetna after brain surgery coverage denied

A New York teenager had strong words when her parents’ insurance company denied her coverage for minimally invasive brain surgery that could end the seizures that have plagued her since she was 9. The surgery for Cara Pressman, 15, was rejected by Aetna six weeks ago, CNN reported. She had been scheduled to have laser ablation surgery...
More Stories